P Patterns — ‘rising like the Phoenix’

Posted on 08 Sep 2019 and read 289 times
P Patterns —  ‘rising like the Phoenix’Based in Brierley Hill, P Patterns produces medium-size and large patterns for the foundry industry. Made from iron, copper beryllium and model board, these are used in the casting of high-volume parts — such as suspension components and wheels — mainly for the rail, automotive and earth-moving industries and major OEMs (including Caterpillar and
Scania).

Some of the patterns are used for die casting, although most are for sand casting ‘highly stressed’ components in spheroidal graphite iron.

In August 2018, managing director Phil Hancox had a call to tell him his factory was on fire. Rushing to the scene, he saw it going up in smoke; and while it was fortunate that nobody was hurt, the building and the machinery it housed were completely destroyed.

“Our insurance included business interruption cover, so we were able to keep all our employees on full pay while we set about rebuilding the company; and because we also owned the building next door, which was used for storage, we were able to reassure our customers that we would get working again as soon as possible.

“I also used my contacts in the industry to provide continuity of manufacture for them in the meantime.”

Before the fire, P Patterns had a number of machines, including a DMG Mori 635 vertical machining centre that it had had for eight years and had run continuously problem-free.

Mr Hancox said: “Because we were so pleased with this VMC, we decided to replace all our machining centres with DMG Mori equipment, even though it would cost us more than like-for-like replacement.

“We reckoned this was an ideal time to invest for the future of our business.”

As soon as he had confirmation from his insurance company, Mr Hancox explained the urgency of the situation to Coventry-based DMG Mori UK (www.uk.dmgmori.com).

On 17 September, he placed an order for a pair of VMCs — a CMX 800V and a DMC 1450V, both with Heidenhain controls. The CMX 800V arrived on 18 November and the DMC 1450V in December.

The first machine was up and running just nine weeks from order.

He added: “We are taking delivery of a CMX 1100V in the next few weeks, so our CNC machines will be DMG Mori throughout.

"We now have faster, reliable and more-accurate machinery, which will last for at least 10 years — and we have extra capacity to cover the large patterns we produce.

"Our customers have been impressed with the new machinery and the improved quality.”

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